Surplus growth predicted

| 25/11/2013

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Government (CIG) can look forward to growing surpluses over the next few years, according to the finance minister, who has pointed to a surplus of almost $150 million for government at the end of 22016/17. Although government now has plans to reschedule the financial year in line with the calendar year, it is still predicting a continuous increase in operating surpluses for each year of this administration. Marco Archer said government should have a surplus of $123.5 million in 2014/15, $139 million in 2015/16 and finally $148.7 million in 2016/17. As well as vowing to cut costs and not add new fees or taxes, the minister said government companies and authorities would be under pressure to be more productive.

Delivering the Strategic Policy Statement to the Legislative Assembly and tabling the Medium Term Fiscal Strategy of the CIG for the Financial Years 2013-2017, which was sent to the UK before government delivered its full budget for 2013/14 and approved, Archer continued on the theme of prudent management of the public purse.

The minister said that government does not plan to introduce any new major revenue measures during the next three financial years but warned there may be some revisions to fees for existing services to reflect the cost of delivery. He forecast that with anticipated economic growth, government will earn approximately $655.3 million in 2014/15; $669 million in 2015/16 and $676.9 million in 2016/17.

Turning to expenditure, he said government had a responsibility to ensure that every dollar was well-spent and resources streamlined.

“We are adamant that by replacing waste and abuse in government with transparency and accountability and efficiency, our country will realize great savings in the medium and long term,” he said.

With the tightening of the belt in mind, Archer said government’s operating expenses were expected to be $531.8 million in 2014/15, a 2.3 percent reduction from the approved 2013/14 budget; then $529.9 million in 2015/16; and $528.3 million in 2016/17.

The minister alsopointed to the goal of improving the financial performance of the statutory authorities and government companies (SAGCs), making them less reliant on funding and subsidies from central government.

He said government wanted to restructure the financial affairs of SAGCs by mandating that comprehensive reviews of their operations be undertaken "with credible and sustainable changes implemented thereafter”.

With government injecting massive subsidies into entities such as the Cayman Turtle Farm, Cayman Airways, which are meant to be managed independently, the minister made it clear that it would not be business as usual and that the SAGCs would need to be far more accountable.

See both the government’s SPS and the MTFS below.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The one member of governent that I trust is Marco Archer, he is a good, honest, well educated man who comes from humble beginnings and understands the true meaning of lack. Marco is a man of this soil and he will do what is right within his power.

  2. Anonymously says:

    I believe, Lord help my unbelief.

  3. Anonymous says:

    C'Mon Man please stop with the rhetoric.

    The surpluses the government tell us about to try and convince are not real. Just ask any private sector auditor 

  4. Anonymous says:

    I hope everybody remembers the last time FS Jefferson told the ppm they had a $81 million surplus in March 2009 look at what happen. It was not real then and it can't be real now even if we like Marco Archer as Minister of Finance

  5. Jonas Dwyer says:

    Mr. Minister, good start, we are watching and waiting. Tha Aiport and Port Authority should also be cause for great concern. There does not seem to be any great motivation to excel within these two. The Water Authority needs divestment and the Authority to perform its regulatory function. An efficiency study at these entities and others will no doubt assist the process. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    After the National Conservation Law not sure what that 'surplus' will be…the NCL will slow down development…they better not rely on those funds at the moment.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Going forward, I hope that these surpluses will come from a set of auditable accounts so we can believe them.


    Good luck, Mr. Archer, I wish you success.

    • Anonymous says:

      So if we are gonna be getting such surpluses, why not apply some of it to reducing our cost of living. Like taking off some of the duty on the oil used by CUC to produce electricity? Whats the sense of a surplus if the people are not seeing any  benefit.

  8. Anonymous says:

    LOL another funny story about surpluses that will never materialize. 

  9. Bean Counter says:

    Fantasy island as usual. The Cayman Islands government does not know and cannot accurately confirm if it is $100m in the black or $1billion in debt.

    Ask the auditor general about the state of Caymans financial information or the location of audited consolidated financial statements. 

    Or read his latest report–October-2013—Final.pdf 


  10. Anonymous says:

    What about our 3.2%?

  11. Disconten Ted says:

    I believe Mr Archer is doing some good work but I would recommend he stay away from predicting lovely surpluses in a few years. They ain't gonna happen. I find such figures hard to fathom in any event. Is he truly saying we would expect a surplus of income over expenditure in a few years' time after accounting not only for all normal ongoing cash expenditures but also:

    • paying down the funding deficit in the CS pension scheme
    • Likewise settling health insurance liabilies on a prudent basis
    • Repaying some of the nation's debt as it falls due rather than rolling it over again based on a prudent plan
    • Payments into the major capital projects currently being recommended…….. etc.

    We ain't broke but we ain't gonna see no real surpluses either, not for a long time if ever.